Executive Commitee

Doug Mummert

Chapter President

Rocky Mountain Emmy® Foundation President

NATAS National Foundation Chair

Doug Mummert is a “baby-boomer” born in Hollywood, California. He attended Phoenix College, Grand Canyon University and Arizona State University. Following serving in the U.S. military, he joined the Phoenix (AZ) Fire Department, where he retired as a Chief, in 2015. He was a founding member of the department’s All Hazards Incident Management Team, an original member of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Urban Search & Rescue (USAR) Team for Arizona. Mummert also served on the FEMA USAR National Incident Support Team as a Public Information Officer (PIO) and has also served as a PIO for his department. He was the long-time host and producer of Phoenix Fire’s weekly radio program, Valley Watch, which airs on several Arizona radio stations in cooperation with Bonneville Broadcasting, on KTAR AM & FM, as well as KPKX FM. He is a Public Safety & Media/PR advocate & consultant. Mummert’s odyssey into production took off in the early 90’s when he appeared in episodes of On Scene Emergency Response, in the film, No Code of Conduct and in a documentary on the 100th Running of The Indianapolis 500 produced by ServusTV. He also served as a technical advisor on the program America’s Most Wanted and as a public safety coordinator on film sets. Around this same time, he started a production communications business in his “spare time.” Some of his clients included General Motors, The US Army, Kraft Foods, Nike and many other well-known TV and film production companies. In 1994, he moved into the realm of producing, writing, directing, shooting, and editing. This all began with creating safety and training videos for the Phoenix Fire Department. In 1997, he took over the job as managing director of the Phoenix Fire Television Network and has since produced, written, shot, and edited many training and public service productions. With the help of many, he created the program, Phoenix FireWorks in 1998, which would ultimately fill a void in educating and informing the public about topical Fire Department related issues. Thanks to an excellent collaborating production team, the program has garnered critical acclaim and has received or been nominated for many awards, including the WorldFest Film Festival, NATOA Government Programming Awards, Telly Awards and Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards. Doug has contributed to, or been featured on many radio programs & podcasts, as well as many magazine/newspaper articles and columns and serves as an analyst & contributor for LiveNOW from FOX.

In 2001 he was proud to be elected to the Board of Governors for the Rocky Mountain/Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS). He currently serves as the Chapter President. Doug is also honored to be the Chairman of the non-profit, NATAS Foundation and the President & Chairman of the Rocky Mountain Emmy Foundation.

He is a past or present member of the Arizona Production Association, International Television Association (ITVA), National Information Officers Association (NIOA), Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC).

Doug is the President & Chairman of the Phoenix Fire Foundation, the non-profit arm of the Phoenix Fire Department and serves on the board of directors for Arizona Search Dogs. When he is not working, you can find him spending time with family & friends, traveling and supporting many other charitable/community causes.

Mark Reda

First Vice President & Awards Chair

Mark Reda has worked in live sports production for nearly 40 years. He has received awards for his work with L.A. Dodgers, Oakland A’s and Colorado Rockies broadcasts. He produced Arizona Diamondbacks Broadcasts, which were awarded 7 Regional Emmy® Awards from 2001 to 2005. Mark then moved to Fox Sports Arizona as the Coordinating Producer. He supervised the production of live game broadcasts and original programming. During his tenure, FSAZ staff was awarded more than 50 Emmy® Awards (with an additional 160 nominations) and the network was honored with the 2010 Governor’s Award. Mark is the producer for the Arizona Cardinals Broadcasts team that received Emmy® Awards for Live Sporting Event in 2018 and 2019.

Currently, Mark is on the faculty at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications, where he teaches Live Sports Production and oversees ASU Athletics student-run live stream program. He has worked with Cronkite Students for 12 years and was honored with the Faculty Advisor of the Year in 2019.

Mark has been on the NATAS Rocky Mountain SW Chapter Board since 2008. He’s in his 5th year as First Vice-President/Awards Chair. In 2015, Mark was inducted into the Silver Circle, honoring a quarter-century of work. He has lived in Arizona since 1997. His son Anthony, also a National Emmy recipient, lives in Portland. His daughter Brianna lives in Reno with her husband Alex.

Theresa Maher

Second Vice President, Trustee & Event Chair, National Executive Committee - Presidents' Rep

Theresa Maher is the Vice President of Creative and Partner Services for Recruiting.com and joined the organization in 2005. She has spent much of her career developing employment and job seeker-related content for media outlets across the country. Maher currently oversees the delivery of the latest recruitment technology and video services designed to help organizations across the country strengthen their employment brand and more effectively attract the right candidates. She is focused on all aspects of employment marketing execution, from brand strategy and recruitment video to copywriting and design. In addition, she manages Strategic Partnerships and has spent much of her career providing various community partners and media outlets with information on the topics of recruitment, employment and job seeker issues.

Maher is a certified career coach and graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Mass Communications at Arizona State University. She earned her MBA from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. In addition to serving NATAS in the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter and Nationally, Maher sits on the Arizona Society for Human Resource Management State Council.

Jennifer Doan

Secretary

Jennifer Doan is one of the Producers for FOX 10 Arizona Morning. The show airs weekdays from 4:30 – 10 a.m. Jennifer is responsible for the 8-10 a.m. hours. She has been at FOX 10 since December 1997. Doan was inducted into the Rocky Mountain NATAS Silver Circle in 2020.

Doan grew up in Duncan, Oklahoma and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Oklahoma. Following graduation, Doan was awarded a paid internship through RTNDF to work at KPHO Channel 5 in Phoenix. The internship focused on News Management. Following the internship, Jennifer was hired at FOX 10.

She took a year off from July 1998 to June 1999 to travel and perform with Up With People. In the organization, she traveled with 148 cast members from 23 different countries. They visited several regions of the US, two provinces of Canada, as well as Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Austria and France. The cast lived in host families in approximately 70 cities, did community service in each city and performed a 2 hour Broadway-style musical. After Up With People, Doan returned to Phoenix and returned to her prior station where she’s been since.

Doan lives in Phoenix with her husband Jared and two Boxers (Angel & Gabby). She enjoys photography and traveling. In addition to serving on the Board of Governors for NATAS: Rocky Mountain Southwest, Jennifer also serves on the Board for VNSA, a non-profit that collects books and sells them to raise money for Arizona charities.​

Suzanne Guery

Treasurer

Suzanne Guery has spent 23 years in public television production, program development and management. She is passionate about telling great stories across multiple media platforms and training the next generation of media professionals. Prior to moving to Arizona, he worked in the Research Center at Monticello in Charlottesville, VA and in Public Programs at The Valentine Museum in Richmond, VA. Guery has earned ten Rocky Mountain Southwest Regional Emmy® Awards, with six additional nominations. National awards include a Cine Golden Eagle and six Telly Awards. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in History.

She served as the Second Vice-President (Event Chair) for four years before taking on the role as Treasurer.​

George Davilas

Trustee

George Davilas is News Director of 12 News/KPNX-TV (NBC/TEGNA) and 12News.com in Phoenix, Arizona. 12 News is the proud recipient of nine 2019 Rocky Mountain Emmy® Awards, including Morning Newscast, Evening Newscast and Continuing Coverage.

In 2018, Team 12 was honored with 10 Regional Emmy® Awards, including Morning Newscast, Evening Newscast, Sports Program, Anchor and Overall Excellence. 12 News is also the proud recipient of a 2019 Gracie Award, the 2018 regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Breaking News Coverage, five 2018 Associated Press Awards, and nine 2017 Associated Press Awards, including Outstanding News Operation- Television. 12 News is the Official Home of the Arizona Cardinals.

Experienced in network, cable, syndication, local and digital multi-platform content, Davilas is an Emmy®, Murrow, Gracie Allen, Associated Press and Prism Award-winner. He has held executive and producing roles for programs fronted by Anderson Cooper, Jane Pauley, Nancy Grace, John Walsh, Montel Williams, Tyra Banks, and Martha Stewart. Additional credits include MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” WCVB-TV Boston, NewsWatch 3 Worcester (MA), Court TV, “The Doctors,” “Good Morning America” and Inc. Magazine.

A two-term member of the Board of Governors of the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and newly-seated NATAS Alternate Trustee, Davilas is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross. He also holds a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School Of Public Communications and earned a law degree from the Syracuse University College of Law.​

Sue Breding

Alternate Trustee

Sue Breding is an award-winning former TV news reporter who is now a leader in government communications in Arizona.

At KTVK, Channel 3 in Phoenix, her versatility and ability to easily handle either hard breaking news stories or feature news on air, meant that her assignments ranged from being a “Good Morning Arizona” specialty reporter, to covering live news stories, to handling the special projects pieces that ran during ratings periods.

At KCAL, Channel 9 in Los Angeles, she covered assignments in every corner of the city including natural disasters, major crimes, visits by world leaders and interviews with A-list celebrities on the red-carpet during awards-season events.

For The Weather Channel, she was a special assignment reporter, based in Los Angeles who did live reports seen nationwide from the scene of severe flooding and mudslides.

Her awards include the Arizona Governor’s Award for Outstanding Service to the Community, three Rocky Mountain Emmy® Awards for reporting excellence, induction into the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Silver Circle Society and an Outstanding Journalism Alumni award from University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Sue has served at two different times during her career as a board member for the NATAS Rocky Mountain Southwest chapter.

Currently, as the Asst. Director of Communications for the City of Glendale, Sue oversees the high-level internal and external communications needs for the city. She also manages the city’s state-of the-art television station, located across the street from State Farm Stadium, where she leads a multiple-disciplinary team of videographers, editors and reporters in a highly creative environment.

A former lifeguard and a lifelong swimmer, Sue is passionate about drowning prevention efforts and spends her free time working to spread the message of safety around water.

She has a son, two daughters and a couple of rescue dogs, Ramsey and Ruby.

Lara Gates

Executive Director

Lara Gates came on board in spring of 2012 right before the Call for Entries. She's the point person for all committees, events, members and awards questions. In addition to running the chapter business and serving the Board of Governors, Gates volunteers as the Emmy® Express Committee Chair for all 19 chapters, as well as serving on the Regional Events and Programs Committee. ​

With a diverse background in TV News and Production, Gates has a first-hand understanding of what NATAS members do at work every day. She began her career in Washington, DC as an Editor and Project Manager for a local news bureau. She went on to produce a weekly business magazine program for five years and later launched a news-for-the-web video project for a major labor union. She also worked in local news in Spokane and Phoenix. ​​

When she’s not serving the board and local members, Gates practices yoga, enjoys watching baseball, writing, cooking and spending time with her active family (and crazy beagle). ​

NATAS members can reach her at lara.gates@rockymountainemmy.org or 602-345-1532.

Board Members 2021-2022

Bob Adlhoch

National Awards Chair

Currently in his 27th season of producing and directing Phoenix Suns broadcasts, Bob has been part of the sports production community in the Valley since 1990. After graduating from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University with a BA in broadcast journalism, he worked for 5 years as a freelance graphics operator and producer. In 1995, Bob joined the broadcast group at Cox Communications where he spent the next six years producing and directing live sporting events—from Phoenix Suns broadcasts to the High School Football Game of the Week—as well as studio programs. He was part of the team behind the channel launch of Cox 9 (now YurView) and was instrumental in the live Thursday night high school football broadcasts that have since become a programming staple for Cox. The Phoenix Suns hired Bob in 2001 as their TV producer / director. He is now Executive Producer and in his 21st season traveling the country with the team, overseeing content for, producing and directing game broadcasts on Bally Sports Arizona – as well as posting photos from center court of each NBA arena. Bob is a past president, national trustee and awards chair of the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter and currently chairs the National Emmy® Awards Committee. He is the recipient of multiple Emmy® Awards for producing, directing, writing and graphic design and was selected to the 2009 class of the Phoenix Business Journal’s Forty Under 40.

Dan Barr

Dan Barr is a partner with Perkins Coie LLP in Phoenix. For the past 30 years, he has represented broadcasters and other news media organizations in Arizona and throughout the country in wide variety of matters. He is the chief counsel of the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona, a non-profit group for which Perkins Coie provides a “media hotline” to journalists on issues involving access to public records, governmental meetings, court proceedings and other issues concerning access to public information. Over the past three decades, the media hotline has responded to thousands calls from journalists throughout Arizona. Barr teaches media law at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. He is listed in "The Best Lawyers in America."

He is the author of the Arizona Reporter’s Handbook on Media Law (6th edition), the Survey of Arizona Libel Law and Survey of Arizona Employment Libel Law for the Media Law Resource Center, Tapping Officials’ Secrets – The Door to Open Government in Arizona for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and is a contributing author to News Now: Visual Storytelling in the Digital Age. Barr often speaks and writes op-eds about First Amendment and public access issues, most recently arguing in the Arizona Republic for greater public access to information about the lethal injection execution of Joseph Wood just two days before the state of Arizona conducted its botched execution of Wood. In 2010, he was the first lawyer to participate in the Pulitzer Prize Winners Workshop at Hong Kong Baptist University in Hong Kong, China. In 2014, Barr traveled to Belgrade and Nis, Serbia to conduct two three-day workshops sponsored by the U.S. State Department for Serbian journalists about the U.S. legal system, media law and media coverage of the courts. Barr was inducted into the Silver Circle of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of NATAS in 2014.

Chad Brummett

New Mexico

Chad Brummett is a writer, producer, editor, videographer and host based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He found his way to broadcast through a career on the stage and screen. Chad holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from the University of New Mexico (magna cum laude, 2001) and has appeared on big and small screens in more than 50 projects. His credits include 3:10 to Yuma, Beer for my Horses, In Plain Sight, Breaking Bad, Crazy Heart, Sweetwater, Longmire, Undocumented and The Lone Ranger.

He made the transition to broadcast in 2013 with KRQE and Fox New Mexico on "New Mexico Living", the state's only live broadcast lifestyle show. Bringing his craftsmanship from film and television to broadcast, he has expanded the production value of the show and created the award-winning docuseries "Legendary New Mexico", which is now in its fifth season, appearing on the New Mexico CBS/FOX/CW affiliates.

He is a three-time Regional Emmy winner for both shows, as well as a two-time recipient of the "Excellence In Broadcasting" award from the New Mexico Broadcasters Association (NMBA). He hopes to bring a different perspective to the Board, much in the same way he did with KRQE. His unique professional experience both in front of, and behind the cameras, blends the tenets of documentary journalism with the story structure and narrative style of cinema.

Micah Johnson

In 1987, Micah Johnson became the youngest male anchor at CNN Headline News. He was the “voice” for much of the network, including LARRY KING LIVE. Moving to Washington, DC, he anchored for NBC, winning a gold medal at the Radio/TV Festival of New York for his anchoring of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Micah has been news director in several markets, vice president of news for a major broadcasting group, and president of an international Washington DC news service. He’s worked with the late Robin Leach producing red-carpet specials at the Billboard Music Awards, Country Music Awards, and several TV pilots.

He’s the founder of MediaStars, a television talent and editorial representation firm. The Agency prides itself on signing only a select group of clients to maintain personal attention. The firm is also a pioneer in social media and digital representation.

Micah previously served on the Board of Governors for the Rocky Mountain Chapter of NATAS and is a member of ATAS. He’s previously been a member of the White House Correspondents’ Association and is listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World.

Jennifer Jones

Foundation Treasurer

Jennifer Jones is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She started her career at ABC 15 News (KNXV) in Phoenix. She began working at CBS 5 News (KPHO) in 2003. Part of that time was spent as the Managing Editor for the Local News Share – a video share between the local CBS (KPHO), FOX (KSAZ) and ABC (KNXV) affiliates. She is currently a Special Projects Producer for Arizona’s Family CBS 5 News and 3TV (KTVK). ​

Jones began her NATAS career as a college student where she held posts as Vice-President and President. In a professional capacity, she has served on the Board of Governors for the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter since 2001. She was treasurer from 2002 – 2006 and again from 2012 to 2018. She also held the office of President from 2006 – 2012. Currently she is the treasurer for the Rocky Mountain Emmy® Foundation. Jones has completed the Phoenix Citizen’s Police Academy, the FBI Citizens Academy and is a certified Fire Journalist with the Phoenix Fire Department.

Frankie McLister

Social Media & Website Chair

Frankie McLister is a Reporter and Multimedia Journalist for Arizona’s Family. McLister is currently the Web & Social Media Chair for the Rocky Mountain Emmy’s. Growing up in Maryland, he began his Emmy experience as a volunteer at the Capital Emmy’s when he was in high school! A Maryland native, McLister began his love for the media industry while interning at WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C. There, he met a Cronkite alum which convinced him to move to Arizona and attend ASU for his collegiate career.

He’s a proud 2x Sun Devil, as he graduated from ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication with both a bachelor's in Journalism and Mass Communication and a master's in Mass Communication. During his junior year, Frankie studied at the Universidad Pablo de Olavide in Seville, Spain as he’s passionate about using Spanish with his storytelling. While attending ASU, he was the Student Rep for the Rocky Mountain Emmy’s.

McLister has held positions at NBC’s TODAY Show/Megyn Kelly TODAY, The Kim Komando Show, and KVOA-TV, News 4 Tucson.

Learning about different cultures, people and walks of life is a huge interest of his. And, his grandparents, parents, two older sisters - Kelly and Caitlin, cousins, best friends and telling stories are a few of the most important things to him. In addition, he can’t leave out that he’s also a big fan of airplanes, spicy food, hot tubbing, Reese's cups, sunsets and bringing awareness to Alzheimer's Disease.

“Work hard and be nice to people” is a quote that Frankie lives by. He’ll never take the power of the First Amendment and the honor of being a journalist for granted.

McLister says it is an honor to have the opportunity to be a part of such a great NATAS family and hopes to use his skillset and background to help impact the Rocky Mountain Chapter. He can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Özlem Ayse Özgür

Tucson

Özlem Ayse Özgür is a documentary filmmaker, and creative director of Cool Genie Pictures film production company, which she founded in 2015. Currently she works as a videographer/producer in the Marketing and Communications Department of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arizona. Her film, "Taste Bud Memories," on refugees, food-ways and community in Tucson received a Rocky Mountain Regional Emmy® Nomination in 2019 and won an Impact DOCS Award in 2020. Her latest short film “Edible Education” which focuses on the School and Community Garden Program in Tucson received a Rocky Mountain Regional Emmy® Nomination in 2020. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and was included among the Best Experimental Films of 2015 in venues including the Frozen Film Festival in San Francisco, 2019 AAG Conference in Washington DC, and was invited for the Boston Biennial Project in 2016 and 2018, and Refugees Welcome Film Festival in Germany, Berlin, 2020.

Besides being a filmmaker, Özgür is a PhD candidate, studying Human and Film Geography in the School of Geography, Development and the Environment at the University of Arizona. She is the recipient of a P.E.O International Scholar Award and a Society of Women Geographers' Pruitt National Dissertation Fellowship for her research on refugee women’s socioeconomic wellbeing. She uses film geography, visual ethnography and qualitative methods in her research. After graduating from University of Arizona with a BA in Philosophy, BFA in Studio Art, she received her MA in Philosophy from Stanford University and MFA in Film from San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI). She has taught film editing, cinematography and post-production, as well as philosophy at Pima Community College.

She also serves as a Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of a nonprofit, Owl and Panther, whose mission is to provide meaningful and healing expressive arts experiences in the community and the natural world for refugee families resettled in Tucson who have been impacted by trauma, torture and traumatic dislocation.

In her leisure time Özgur does painting, gardening, cooking, pilates, and takes walks with her husband Brian Silverstein and her dog Zoe.

Donna Rossi

Awards Vice Chair

Donna Rossi is a reporter’s reporter. After spending four years as a Phoenix police officer, she decided to change careers and become a journalist in 1987. After attending ASU and working as an intern at KOOL-TV in Phoenix, she moved to Flagstaff in 1989 where she became the assignment editor, reporter and news anchor for KNAZ-TV NBC 2. While working full-time at KNAZ, Rossi also graduated cum laude from Northern Arizona University with a degree in broadcast journalism. In 1992, Rossi moved to Tucson, where she worked as the weekend anchor and weekday reporter for KOLD-TV CBS 13, for two years.

Rossi joined KPHO-TV CBS 5 in 1994, and covered many of the highest profile stories in the state. She covered the 1999 sleepwalking murder trial of Scott Falater, the 2004 trial of Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas O’Brien for a fatal hit and run accident and the two Jodi Arias murder trials. She also spent two straight weeks in northeastern Arizona during the summer of 2011 covering the Wallow Fire, the largest wildfire in Arizona history. She was also instrumental in bringing to the forefront the issue of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in law enforcement with a series of first-hand accounts from officers who trusted her to tell their stories. That series was helpful in getting a new state law on the books to better protect law officers with PTSD.

A past president of the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter, Rossi is a member of IFP/Phoenix, a non-profit organization of local film and documentary makers. She has won more than a dozen Arizona Associated Press awards and earned five Rocky Mountain Emmy® Awards. In 2015, Rossi was inducted into the Silver Circle.

After 29-years in broadcast journalism she retired in February 2018. Later that year, she was inducted into the Arizona Broadcaster’s Association Hall of Fame. Rossi currently works as Director of Communications for Phoenix Police Department. She is also an adjunct faculty member of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.

Before becoming a police officer, Rossi was an employee of Eastern Onion singing telegram service. One evening in January 1980, a customer asked that a “Gorilla-gram” be sent to someone attending a Phoenix Suns game at the Veterans’ Memorial Coliseum. She was not working that night, so her co-worker, Henry Rojas, went instead. Rojas’ appearance at the game, especially when he danced to music during a timeout, caused quite a sensation. Rojas was invited back to subsequent Suns’ games and eventually became “The Gorilla.” We will never know what would have happened had Donna Rossi been working at Eastern Onion that night in January 1980, but her broadcast colleagues and TV news viewers throughout Arizona are grateful for her career path.

BOARD MEMBERS 2022-2023

Venton Blandin

Venton Blandin, Regional Edward R. Murrow recipient and Emmy-nominated journalist, joined ABC 15 in November 2021. With nearly 30 years newsroom experience, Blandin says “What better way to help make sure my peers are recognized for their exemplary work in the field of broadcasting than to sit at the table where things happen?”

He became interested in television news after watching stations in his hometown of Chicago cover a shooting in his Garfield Park neighborhood. Venton spent a lot of his childhood chasing news trucks, riding the 'L' to visit all of the city’s TV stations and talking to people in line as they visited the 'Jerry Springer' and 'Jenny Jones' shows which were both taped at NBC Tower. The 'news bug' bit Venton in 1992 and hasn’t left him since. Blandin's passion for news grew when he moved to Greenville, South Carolina in 1993. He worked behind the scenes at WYFF-TV in Greenville, SC during high school. He joined the United States Marine Corps in 1998 and received an "honorable discharge" as a Corporal. Blandin attended Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland.

He’s reported too many local stories to count, from local newsrooms in Washington, DC, Greenville, SC and Baltimore, MD. He has covered several national stories including the deadly 2015 Emanuel A.M.E. Church shooting in Charleston, the deadly 2015 deadly shooting at the armed forces recruiting office in Chattanooga, Hurricane Joaquin in 2015, Hurricane Matthew in 2016, St. Louis protests in 2017 and Branson Duck Boat Tragedy in 2018. “ I don’t see many like me on air and am curious to know how diversity looks for actual decision-makers in this market. Furthermore, I’m sure the board can be enhanced by having another voice like me,” Blandin said.

Venton loves God, attends church, volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters, serves as the Arts & Entertainment Committee Co-chair for the National Association of Black Journalists and served on the Board of Governors for the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Mid-America Chapter. He’s also filmed TV shows and movies as a member of SAG/AFTRA.

Heidi Goitia

Heidi Goitia is an Emmy-award winning journalist, producer, and speaker in Phoenix.

Heidi is currently a reporter for KNXV, ABC 15 in Phoenix. Prior to this role she spent ten years at KTVK/KPHO anchoring the morning news for CBS5 and Good Morning Arizona.

Heidi began her on-air career as the evening anchor of KNAZ, a small station in her hometown of Flagstaff, AZ. After taking time off to spend time with her three young children, she came back to television, this time in Phoenix as an associate producer for Good Morning Arizona. She quickly moved up the ranks and became a booking producer then feature reporter for GMAZ. From there she moved into the role as traffic anchor for CBS 5 This Morning and shortly thereafter became the co-anchor of that show.

An Arizona native, Heidi feels lucky to be enjoying a successful career in her home state and looks forward to the opportunity to serve members of the Rocky Mountain NATAS chapter.

Jay Hancock

Utah

Jay Hancock is currently employed KSL TV in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is a multiple award-winning Photojournalist receiving 12 Rocky Mountain Emmy's and 34 total nominations, along with both Top and General awards with the National Press Photographers Association. Jay has years of experience in all aspects of storytelling, from breaking news, arts and entertainment to sensitive personal stories told from the heart.

Jay has been lucky enough to learn from some of the best colleagues and managers from his two stations KSL and KUTV as he worked up the ranks since he started his internship in television in 1998. He worked in Production, moving to Editing and eventually becoming a Photojournalist. He's also worked covering winter and summer sports in Utah as a freelancer working for ABC, ESPN and Windfall TV.

In addition to his career in television, Jay is a military veteran who served eight years in the Utah National Guard. Born in Utah, Jay spent a fair amount of his childhood moving through the states before finally making back home to Salt Lake. He met his wife in television, and they have two sons. Meghan is also a photojournalist for the KSL team and storytelling is a big part of their adventure together. When they're not working, they spend their time travelling Utah and exploring its stunning national parks.

Mike Harris

Mike Harris is a five-time Emmy Award winning photojournalist and member of the Silver Circle.

After graduating from Northern Arizona University, he began his career with an internship at Conus in the Washington D.C. bureau in 1993. Once the internship ended, he stayed in DC and worked the Assignment Desk at WTTG. During that time, Mike also ran studio camera for McLaughlin and Equal Time, both on CNBC.

Mike left the D.C. area to do video production work in Sedona, AZ and then in Flagstaff.

Mike began shooting video full time in 1995 when he went to work at KGET in Bakersfield and then moved up the road to Fresno.

In 1997, Mike returned home to Arizona when he joined the photography staff at KTVK in Phoenix. Eight years later, Mike went across the street to KPHO where he spent another eight years.

Mike left the news business to spend more time with his young son in 2013. He worked for the ADOT Video team before moving to the City of Glendale where he has been a MMJ since late 2017.

In his free time, Mike enjoys hiking and spending time with his friends and family. He also volunteers at an animal shelter.

Krystle Henderson

Membership & Outreach Chair

Krystle Henderson is an Emmy® Award-winning meteorologist and multimedia journalist for 12 News. She’s part of the Today in AZ team, leading weather coverage, alongside Rachel McNeill, Ryan Cody and Vanessa Ramirez. She also provides viewers with the Forecast 411 weekdays on 12 @ 12, 12 News’ multi-platform noon show. Krystle joined Team 12 in September 2013.

Krystle is the proud recipient of the 2020 Rocky Mountain Emmy® Award for Talent – Anchor – Weather. She earned three Emmys in 2019 for Talent – Anchor – Weather, Sports – News Single Story and Specialty Assignment Report. She was also recognized with Emmy® Awards for Talent – Anchor – Weather in 2017 and Talent – Anchor – Traffic in 2016.

Her career began in Medford, Oregon, where she worked at KTVL News 10, the CBS affiliate, for four years as the weekend news and weather anchor and weekday reporter, covering southern Oregon and northern California. While at KTVL, Henderson received an Associated Press Award for Best Weathercast and another for Best Continuing Coverage.

A graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, Henderson earned a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism. At ASU, she also minored in Business at the W.P. Carey School. She was admitted into the National Honor Society of Journalists. She graduated Summa Cum Laude.

Henderson fell in love with weather while finishing up her degree at ASU. She did weathercasts for Cronkite Newswatch and wanted to learn more about the science behind it, so she continued her education at Mississippi State University, earning a Bachelor of Science and Certificate in Broadcast Meteorology.

She has served on the NATAS Rocky Mountain Board of Governors since 2018. She was motivated to join after hosting the Student Production Awards in 2017.

Krystle was born in Chandler and grew up in Gilbert, and it has always been her dream to be part of the 12 News team. Krystle volunteers to help at a variety of events each year centered around students and animals.

Carol Lynde

Carol Lynde began her 40+ year career in TV as a news photographer at KTVK in Phoenix. After four years, this Arizona girl let her videography and editing skills take her across the country. She spent seven years at WAGA in Atlanta as a news photographer and editor, then moved to WGNX, also in Atlanta, where she was chief photographer for six years.

Then she did something odd. At the height of her television career, she packed up and moved to Great Falls, Montana to work for KRTV in their video production department. “Not everyone considers it a good career move to go from the 10th market to the 183rd, but it was the best thing I have ever done for myself personally. Montana was wonderful. I consider my time there a three-year working vacation.” But the vacation eventually ended when she moved to Denver and KWGN, where she was assignment manager for the news department. “My first and, I hope, last desk job. I can honestly say I tried it, and it confirmed what I already knew-I want to be in the field shooting video.”

The search for a new and challenging video position brought her back to Arizona and the PBS station KAET. Then in 2004, when a video producer position opened at the Arizona Game and Fish Department, she jumped at it. As part of a three person video department she produced Arizona Wildlife Views, a 13-week half hour series that aired on Arizona PBS and community stations across the state. “Throughout my career, I have always been drawn to stories that involve nature and the outdoors and this job took me all over Arizona, telling the stories of the fabulous array of wildlife who live here.”

She has earned 22 Regional Emmy® Awards and dozens of other broadcasting and film festival awards during her career. She has served on the NATAS Board of Governors for three chapters; Southeast, Heartland and Rocky Mountain Southwest.

In 2016 Carol retired as Video Production Manager from Game and Fish, but continues to run her own production company, Tall Paul Productions, specializing in wildlife and outdoor videos.

Gina Santiago

Gina Santiago is the Marketing Producer at 12News in Phoenix.

She was born in the peach state, Atlanta, Georgia. Gina started her career in the television industry right out of high school. Since then while raising her family, she has graduated from the University of Phoenix with a BS degree in Management.

She worked with KTVW Univision for more than two decades, and in the past worked as a freelance graphics operator and producer for the Phoenix Suns, Mercury, Arizona Rattlers, and Phoenix Coyotes. Santiatgo has an extensive background in television production from Directing/Technical Directing live shows to reporting and editing entertainment programs and newscasts.

Some of her career highlights are producing a live and live on tape Spanish morning show for 20 years, winning a Telly award for producing a Spanish morning show, in addition to several Emmy® Nominations for news stories she’s covered and eventually earning seven Regional Emmy® Awards in her career. In 2019 she was inducted into the prestigious Silver Circle Society in the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter.

Santiago has been serving on the Board of Governors since 2014.

Colton Shone

New Mexico

Colton Shone is a Valley-native who graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

He currently anchors the mornings newscast for the NBC affiliate in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Colton’s career started in Phoenix at KTAR-FM. He was an intern who was then hired on part-time as an on-air reporter in 2008. He made the switch to television news at CBS 5 (KPHO) as a freelance field producer. Colton eventually got hired full-time as an MMJ/assignment desk editor. He took the skills in one of the nation’s top markets and made his way down to Tucson for his first anchor job at the CBS/FOX duopoly.

Colton has made it his commitment to tell the stories of Indian Country. A member of the Navajo Nation, he has reported extensively on tribal communities throughout Arizona and New Mexico. His award-winning coverage includes Covid-19’s impact on the Navajo Nation, the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples Crisis, as well as abandoned uranium wastes sites in Native communities. Colton loves to give back to Native tribes through speaking engagements. He also loves to promote journalism as a career for Native high school and college students serving as a mentor.

He’s a three-time Emmy Award-winning journalist and two-time Regional Edward R. Murrow Award Winner. Colton has produced documentaries on Native Americans in TV News as well as the immigration crisis at the southern Arizona border.

Colton lives with his wife, Aubree, and son in Albuquerque, N.M.

Ex Officio

John Craft

Gold & Silver Circle Chair

Dr. John Craft has been a friend to NATAS and to this chapter for nearly 30 years. John has served as president, committee chairs, member of the board, and two terms as a national trustee of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences where he represented us on trips to study the television systems in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and China. An undisputed expert in his field, he is often called on to comment on issues concerning the media for radio and television stations, as well as newspapers, throughout the U.S., Europe, Canada, China and Mexico.

Dr. Craft has taught at The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications since 1973 (making him the senior member of the Cronkite faculty). During that time he has taught courses ranging from broadcast production, to media sales and telecommunication management. Thousands of students have learned from Dr. Craft at the graduate and undergraduate level. and for more than a dozen years he served as Director of Graduate Studies for the Cronkite School.

Prior to arriving at ASU, Craft taught media courses at Ohio University and at the Hancock County branch of West Liberty State College in West Virginia. As Director of Educational Television Services for the Hancock County Schools in West Virginia, he developed one of the first public school instructional televisions systems in the nation. At Ohio University he served as Director of Instructional Television and worked at WOUB-TV in many creative and administrative capacities. In addition, he has worked as a media consultant in establishing video facilities in schools, cable television systems, hospitals, and for major manufacturing corporations.

Craft is the lead author of a major textbook on American electronic media and a major contributor to a second textbook on corporate video as well as the author of many academic articles. He is also an independent documentary television producer and director. His award-winning documentary programs on Route 66 have been broadcast on public television stations in nearly 80 of the top markets and on The History Channel – as well as abroad.

Craft began his broadcasting career in 1962 at WOUB-TV as a video quality engineer and camera operator. Since then, he has inspired, encouraged and instructed hopeful students and professionals alike – leaving his unique mark on our business. In 2014 The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter inducted Dr. John Craft into the prestigious Gold Circle Society for serving the television industry and the community with distinction for more than 50 years.

Dan J.P. Ciernia M. Ed.

Foundation Vice President

Dan is the Managing Partner and Executive Producer of CAI Digitalworks, LLC, Expert Sensory Messaging, Digital Expression - serving national & international clientele. Earning creative, technical and production credits on programs for CBS, NBC, ABC, ESPN, TNT, TSN, PBS, Paramount Pictures, NASA, HBO, Showtime, DirecTV, Sony, USA, MTV, VH-1, ABC Australia, among others. Dan has 6 Emmy® nominations and 3 career Emmy® Awards, accompanied by over 50 additional industry related awards for excellence in technical and creative accomplishment.

Specific program credits include “KISS Symphony” (The Hall of Fame rock group KISS in three acts with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne, AU) (ABC, Direct TV), “Styx Return to Paradise Theater” (PBS), “Austin City Limits” (PBS), “Live from SeaWorld” (PBS), “Space Shuttle Launch(s) in HD”, NASA, “The CBS Evening News” (CBS), “CBS This Morning” (CBS), “Good Morning America” (ABC), “The Today Show” (NBC), “The Presidential Debates” (NBC, CNN), “The Masters” 2004 (One of Four PGA Golf Major Events) (CBS), “Super Bowl XXXVIII” (CBS), “Super Bowl XXXVII” (ESPN), “Super Bowl XLII” (NFL), “Super Bowl XLIX” (NFL), “Pro Bowl” (NFL), “NCAA Final Four” (Basketball) (CBS), “The Stanley Cup Finals” (ABC), The NBA All Star Game (NBC/TNT), The David Letterman Show (CBS), “The Oscars” Pre & Post (ABC), “The Bollywood Awards” (Sony), The American Music Awards (ABC), Larry King Live (CNN) among others. Recent projects include new, health-focused digital media programs & series including “Clinical Environmental Toxicology Today with Dr. Michael R. Gray” for international distribution channels and outlets.

Technical achievements include managing the development and introduction of “Decalert for Broadcast & Cable” (enterprise equipment integrated error detection/reporting solution), “Market Connection” PBS/NPR (HW/SW based, multiple market program underwriting contract solution), SD- HD Conversion (CBS), AZ POST Digital Learning System (Implement LMS for secure Elearning course development and distribution for Law Enforcement), Advanced Platform Systems-The Boeing Company (Marketing/Technical communications).

Dan continues to supervise the Digital Media Training & Services Unit for the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board where he designs, develops and produces digital media training courses for law enforcement in addition to overseeing enterprise A/V technical design and implementation. He has executed these skills in producing educational/training content for PBS, Northrop Grumman, The Boeing Company, Digital Equipment Corporation/Hewlett Packard, Alliant Techsystems, Inc. (ATK), private and public institutions of higher education, among others.

Since 2014, The College of Fine Arts & Production, Digital Film Production program at Grand Canyon University (GCU) has retained Dan as an Adjunct Professor, course developer/designer. He was appointed to the GCU Faculty Advisory Board in 2015. He also serves as a student mentor with the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication at Arizona State University and as a new/prospective student advisor for online Masters Programs at Northern Arizona University.

Dan is a current, voting board member of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Board of Governors, (NATAS.) serving as the Education committee Co-Chair and a member of the Social Media committee. Establishing new scholarships and expanding established scholarships with Universities within the Rocky Mountain Southwest Region (ASU, NAU, USU, U of NM, U of A, AWC) and developing “Lunch & Learn” professional workshops for High school and College Digital Media, Journalism and Communications students. These workshops are presented with industry-leading media companies, studios and production facilities and are staples of Dan’s work as a NATAS Board member. He has also been elected to serve as Vice President of the recently formed nonprofit, 501c3 Rocky Mountain Emmy® Foundation.

He serves as a program entry judge for the National Daytime Emmy® Awards and U.S. Regional Emmy® Awards and serves on The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) Board of Governors-Rocky Mountain Region, with past and present membership in the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE), Northern Arizona University Alumni Association, lifetime member , International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), Arizona Justice Educators Association (AJEA), Law Enforcement and Emergency Services Video Association International (LEVA) and was inducted into the “Who’s Who of Professionals” organization in 1997.

Dan attended the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Radio / TV / Film, from the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh. He earned credits in a Master of Business Administration degree from Regis University in Denver, Colorado receiving a Masters of Education in Educational Technology with Distinction from Northern Arizona University.

Dan and his wife Felice call the Southwest home and have blended their lives with the opportunities and lifestyle the Southwest offers. The Ciernia family is active in supporting the Missionaries of Charity Gift of Mary Shelters in Phoenix, Arizona, Gallup, New Mexico and Tijuana, Mexico with additional support to MyCYP450.org, American Porphyria Foundation, American Red Cross, Good Will, World Apostolate of Fatima, St, Maria Goretti Church, New Turning Point Women’s Center, Arizona Department of Public Safety, The 100 Club, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, Alice Cooper’s “Solid Rock Foundation”, Styx’ “Rock to the Rescue Foundation” and Celebrity Fight Night.

Chuck Emmert

Foundation Vice President

For more than 40 years, Chuck Emmert has been on the leading edge of the digital video journalist revolution. Passionate about videography, Emmert led a talented group of video journalists in Phoenix that prided itself on fair and accurate storytelling with a flair for the creative elements, garnering more than 100 Emmy® Awards in the process. A natural born storyteller, Emmert has been the principle videographer on overseas documentary projects including segments in hostile areas like North Korea. He is credited with pioneering helicopter news coverage in one of the country’s first live airborne camera platforms with legendary pilot Jerry Foster of SKY-12 at KPNX in Phoenix. Then, in partnership with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, he directed another great team of video story teller’s that produced a yearly thirteen-episode television series. ‘Arizona Wildlife Views’ that aired on PBS. The series chronicled the diverse native animal life in the desert southwest.

Emmert continued to implement this storytelling-driven programming philosophy at know99 Television in Phoenix, a youth and education orientated cable channel. This opportunity offered the chance to create a video journalist mentoring program, crafting an advanced videography training curriculum for gifted high school and college student video journalists. Chuck is in the classroom as well, serving as adjunct professor in videography with the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication.

Now, Emmert is back to shooting and editing video content in a new era of storytelling, serving as a videographer for the nation’s fifth-largest city, Phoenix. He is the principal content creator for the city’s Instagram account, attracting more than 62,000 followers in the process.

He has been involved with the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, having served as a Trustee for the organization as well as a member of the National Awards Committee. He currently is the co-chairman of the Education Committee that creates the Student Production Awards and distributes more than $11,000 worth of scholarships in our chapter each year.

Personally, he has been married to Patty for more than 35 years, raising three children. A competitive tennis player, Chuck also enjoys bicycling, board games, food and music.

Jennifer Kaplan

Jennifer is a familiar face in the Valley with years of start-up experience. She began as Co-Founder/Partner of PRIME 3, LLC, in 2005. Jennifer then decided to start her own firm, Evolve Public Relations and Marketing, in 2010. With clients ranging from restaurants, retail, entertainment, real estate, medical, legal, global and international companies and nonprofit organizations the company grew and became a well-known firm in the Valley. She is a native of Phoenix and prides herself on knowing and understanding the dynamics of the Valley and the deep-rooted relationships she has established. Connecting with her client’s and the ability to understand their needs has led to her success. One of the philosophies she has is to be an extension of her client’s team, in order to create the ownership and passion they expect.

Chris Kline

Chris Kline is the President and CEO of the Arizona Broadcasters Association. In the role, he leads all industry lobbying, member services, and scholarship distribution on behalf of Arizona’s 200+ TV and radio station members. Chris previously spent a decade working at the ABC media brand in Phoenix, where he held roles ranging from reporter to digital director to news director. He also worked for The Arizona Republic newspaper, KPNX-TV, KTAR-AM, and CNN in Washington, DC. Chris also serves as a board member for Arizona State’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and for the University of Arizona’s Journalism School. He is also part of Arizona’s state emergency communications committee and serves on the state census response committee.

Joseph Ortiz

Joseph Ortiz has a Bachelors degree in Broadcasting with an emphasis in Video Production and a minor in English from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Ortiz has served on the Board of Governors for the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences continuously for nearly 25 consecutive years as both a voting member and an Ex Oficio member. He serves as a media spokesperson for the Tolleson Union High School District handling media relations, social media, crisis communication, public relations and marketing. He interacts with television media in the Phoenix Metropolitan area on a weekly basis, writing press releases, pitching news stories, and responding to media requests. He has served as the Public Information Officer for the Phoenix Union High School District, the City of Tempe, the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and currently as the Director of Public Relations and Marketing for the Tolleson Union High School District.

Ortiz has previously served on the Educational Access Governing Board for the City of Phoenix Education Channel, now known as Know 99. While at the City of Tempe, Ortiz oversaw the public information office, the graphic arts department and Channel 11, the city’s public affairs channel. He has also served as a panel leader and judge for Emmy® nominations, in both English and Spanish, throughout his entire time on the NATAS Board.

For many years, he coordinated the NATAS Scholarships for ASU broadcasting students. He currently serves on the board’s Student Awards Committee. Ortiz has been a presenter at the Rocky Mountain Emmy® Awards Gala and is on the 12 Who Care Committee for KPNX. Nationally, Ortiz has served on the Board of Directors of the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) in Rockville, MD. and is an alum of the Phoenix Business Journal’s 40 under 40.

Ortiz has been a mentor to countless numbers of broadcasting students and he has experience as a producer, videographer, scriptwriter, and editor.

Juan Villa

Juan Villa is currently the News Director of Univision Arizona in Phoenix and Univision 32 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Villa has more than 25 years of experience in Spanish media including; television, radio and newspaper.

He began his career in 1995 as a news announcer in the Spanish Radio station KPHX-1480 “La Super X” later in Radio Unica 740am. In 2000 he became one of the founding reporters of La Voz Newspaper where he became Chief of information. Later, he worked eight years as a News Producer and Managing Editor for Telemundo Arizona. In 2011, he became News director for KTVW Univision Arizona.

Villa is a recipient of multiple Regional Emmy® Awards, The Arizona Press Club and National Association of Hispanic Publications. Villa earned his bachelor’s degree in Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. Villa also has a Master’s Degree in Spanish Literature from Arizona State University (ASU) and a Doctoral studies. Juan Villa is originally from Mexicali, Baja California. He is the author of the book: Coyotes en el cine fronterizo (2011).

Malachy Wienges

National Chair Emeritus

Malachy Wienges is currently the Chairman Emeritus of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Wienges served NATAS as its Chairman from 2011-2014 and as National Vice Chairman from 2008-2011 (two terms), and as its National Treasurer from 1990 to 1994 and from 2006 to 2008. In addition, he was the National Trustee of the New York Chapter from 1988 to 1993, and was an Alternate Trustee of the New York Chapter from 1985 to 1988. He also served as the National Trustee of the Rocky Mountain Chapter from 2002 to 2006. In addition, Wienges was a member of the National Awards Committee from 1992 to 2006.

Wienges spent an illustrious 31 years at the CBS Television Network. He began as a management trainee and rose to the position of Vice President, Sales/Marketing and Technical Systems. From 1975 to 1985, he was Producer of The CBS Thanksgiving Day Parades for which he was nominated for two Emmys. Mal also received three National Emmys, including one for technical achievement for the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, a second National Emmy® in 1992 for the NFL on CBS, and in 2021 a Daytime Emmy for” Girls Voices Now” as Executive Producer. In 2015 he received a Sabre Award for his 2014 production of the 2014 Daytime Emmy Awards telecast. In 2020 Mal received a OTT.X Impact Award for his production of “Not Quite Here, Not Quite There.”

Wienges is credited with originating the concept of remote production for daytime dramas (soap operas) when he took The Guiding Light to the Bahamas in 1976. Since then, Mal has participated in more than 152 location productions. Wienges was also nominated for three Daytime Emmys.

Wienges is an honors graduate from C.W. Post College with a B.S. in atomic and nuclear physics. He obtained a Masters of Science degree in engineering management from Long Island University. In addition, he is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). Wienges has received national recognition including being listed in Outstanding Young Men of America, Who’s Who in Management and in the 2001 millennium edition of Who’s Who in Entertainment. Wienges has served as a Director on the Arizona Film Commission and was Chairman of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce from 2008-2011.

Wienges is currently President of Sedona Broadcasting and resides with his wife, Noreen, in Sedona, Arizona.